How would a child feel if it were the product of a botched abortion, then used as pro-life propaganda? Botched, presented by Toronto’s Cleen Theatre, explores, bizarrely enough, just that concept, as the girl copes by creating personalities for her aborted twin brother (whom she calls Eggbert and is in fact…and egg) and her dolls. This absurdist piece, though controversial and well executed, doesn’t go deep enough into the debate about abortion to really make one think the way it intends to.
Botchedbaby34 (Alex Vincent) has invited her birth mother to her birthday party; as she hopes her mother is coming, she is conflicted about this woman and what she will say to her, as she attempted to abort her and managed to abort her twin brother. Vincent also plays the birth mother in a string of beautiful monologues that she tells in a flashback to when she was pregnant. Botchedbaby34 uses her dolls, who come to life as puppets through Olivia Lloyd and Caroline Millen, who themselves are dressed as life-sized living Dolls. These dolls are quite funny, making references to pop culture and also helping Botchebaby34 to tell of her past experiences being trapped in the middle of the hot debate topic.
Though Botched is a very interesting concept, I was disappointed by what felt to me like surface arguments. Being quite versed in the debate of Pro-life vs. Pro-choice, I did not feel that I learned anything new from this shows perspective. It was interesting theater, but not anything that I left raving about or thinking about. The cast all does a marvelous job at portraying their respective roles, and I admire playwright Colleen Osborn for taking on such a polarizing subject as abortion. Though the script is well written, Botched felt to me as if it just missed the mark.
Presented by Cleen Theater
Directed by Cassandra Silver
Written by Colleen Osborn